ROTTERDAM – At the parliamentary elections for the first time a woman managed to get a seat. It is the 43-year-old from Suze Groeneweg Strijensas in Hoekschewaard. The official election results are not yet known, but it is already certain that Groeneweg for the SDAP is in the House.

In this election there was first talk of passive suffrage. That is, women are not allowed to vote, but are eligible.


The 43-year-old teacher from Suze Groeneweg Strijensas is no stranger to politics. She has more than 15 year member of the SDAP and was 1906 initiator of the creation of the Social Democratic Women Clubs.

Four years ago Groeneweg was elected board member of the party, after she was previously chairman of the party branch in the constituency II Rotterdam. In its own district, got Groeneweg (the number 3 on the list) in total 392 to vote. Jan ter Laan, leader of the SDAP, Rotterdam was almost 36.000 to vote. The SDAP is 22 Seats become the second party in the country.

Only one

That alone Groeneweg has managed to secure a seat in the House will be perhaps a disappointment to some feminists. In total there were 22 women on the electoral list.

Even the well-known feminist Aletta Jacobs did not make. They stood for the Free Democrats high on the electoral list, but it looks as though other VDB candidates based on preference votes to get a place in the Chamber.

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However, the election of Groeneweg can be seen as a major step in the feminisme. Since the end of the last century a group of women fighting for women's rights.

Women as Wilhelmina Drucker, Aletta Jacobs and Annette Versluys fought with the Association for Woman Suffrage (VvVK) For women.

In 1916, after massive demonstrations in The Hague and Amsterdam, parliament agreed on the introduction of universal suffrage, but also thereby excluded women. Why did women could be put on the ballot.

many changes

It was this time an election with many changes. Thus were the first all male voices. was also abandoned the district system and everyone could vote directly on the same candidates.

There was compulsory voting, something that was introduced last year. In Rotterdam 12.410 mensen – spacious 10 percent of voters – not showing up. Nog eens 4.967 people gave a blank choose form.

People who have not reported at the voting office to get a warning or a fine of up to three guilders.

Hoe ging het verder?

Suze Groenweg continued to make a career as a politician. After the House followed the Rotterdam City Council and the Provincial Council of South Holland. Old Mayor of Rotterdam Groeneweg described as "not a cat to tackle without gloves'.

Groeneweg had in recent years in the Rotterdam city council (tot 1931) also leader of the SDAP. In 1937 they kept the politics seen. She was already no longer a board member.

In her farewell, she was made a Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion. In oktober 1940 Groeneweg died at age 65 in Barendrecht.

women's suffrage

A few months after the election of Groeneweg was a private member's bill which was tabled allow that women were allowed to vote. In Europe it was at that time with restless revolutionary tensions. Women's suffrage had to remove some of these tensions. In 1919 this law overwhelmingly adopted.

In 1922 all women were allowed to vote in the Netherlands for the House. The number of women in parliament increased from one to seven.

Author: Dave Datema

published: 03 juli 2018

story number: 27

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